There has always been the underlying concern that Bitcoin whales can and do manipulate the markets by dumping large quantities of them at any given time. We have seen the results of this time and time again, the prime example being the Mt Gox selloffs. The question of whether other altcoins can suffer the same fate should be raised, especially as so few addresses hold so many coins for many of them.
According to research from six independent snapshots of EOS ownership it was revealed that only ten addresses hold almost 50% of the total supply. Almost 500 million EOS tokens equating to 49.67% of the total 1 billion supplied are held in 10 addresses. The company behind the EOS ICO, Block.one, holds 100 million tokens, or 10% of the total. In addition to the $4 billion they already raised this awards them a further $1.5 billion.
The other nine addresses are difficult to distinguish but the smallest one holds 20.6 million and the other eight addresses hold 380 million EOS tokens. This makes the top ten EOS holders very powerful indeed, they can do pretty much what they want with the market should they agree on it as a single entity.
It has been speculated though that exchanges could be responsible for these addresses and the top traders for EOS currently are Bithumb, Huobi, OKEx, Upbit and Bitfinex in that order. Total trade volume over the top five is $832 million at the moment. Total trade volume for EOS over the past 24 hours has been just under $1.5 billion giving these five exchanges over half the volume. Binance and Block.one addresses are likely to make up another two of the top ten EOS rich list.
The figures posted went on to state how powerful the top thousand addresses were. Combined, the top 1000 addresses holds 858,120,383 tokens, or almost 86% of the total. It was speculated that the rest of the EOS holders had very little influence over the ecosystem;
“For everyone else ranked 1001 or lower on the EOS rich list, even if all the remaining 162,930 accounts voted the same way, that would still only be worth 13.86% of the votes, and we would still need the support of those in the Top 1000 to vote the same way as us. If The Top 1000 (or even the Top 100 or less) decides to go one way, there’s nothing the remaining 162,930 accounts will be able to do about it.”
This scenario is likely to be similar for many of the top cryptocurrencies so we really have a long way to go before any of them can claim to be truly ‘decentralized’.